I’ve run into the following situations that make absolutely no sense to me. I suspect there must be an elephant in the room for them to occur, and I wonder if anyone has suggestions as to what this elephant might look like.
Situation 1: A team selects 5 product backlog items for a monthly Sprint. However, the team doesn’t finish regression testing and performance testing, and the unit tests are incomplete as well. When I ask the team why it didn’t just select as many items during Sprint Planning as it could actually complete (maybe only 2), the team members respond that the project is 10 months long and consists of 50 Product Backlog items, so they obviously have to select 5 items per Sprint to get the work done. I ask them about their Scrum training, in which they were shown how to select onlythe Product Backlog items that they could completely “do” within the Sprint. The team members tell me that could only work if there were fewer Product Backlog items.
Situation 2: A team selects 5 product backlog items for a monthly Sprint. They leave out regression testing and performance testing, telling me that they will do those things later. Why didn’t the team choose fewer product backlog items and actually complete all the necessary testing? Doesn’t the team realize that undone work accumulates every Sprint, and that undone work accumulates in an exponential, unpredictable sense? Undone work behaves much like compound interest on credit cards.
Situation 3: A Product Owner tells me that the team is going to have to go faster to hit the date and deliver all of the functionality. Why is it so hard for Product Owners to understand that some 60% of all functionality delivered is rarely or never used? The best way to “hit a date” it to remove functionality.
In all of these circumstances, people are acting completely contrary to what they have been taught and coached: done, transparency, and value-driven development. What thinking, emotion, or habit stops them from taking advantage of these learnings?